Godfrey BivbereThe federal government will complete the three other tank reservoirs at the Atlas cove and the pipeline from there to Mosimi through Ejigbo, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Maritime Matters, Leke Oyewole, has said.
Oyewole who disclosed this to Vanguard in an exclusive interview, said the completion is the only permanent solution to the danger pose by the tank farms littered along Ibru jetty area of Apapa – Oshodi expressway.
He said when the above is completed, products can then be pumped straight to Mosimi from where trucks can then load.
Similarly, he said that products can also be pumped from there as far as Ibadan, Ore and beyond.
The Senior Special Adviser pointed out that only one reservoir completed during the regime of General Sanni Abachi is still functional while the other three have been abandoned since then.
He pointed out that past government had neglected the project and stressed the willingness of the present government to do something about it. The completion which is a short term measure he continued; will cut of the trailers from that area of Lagos.
On the security of pipeline which had suffered a lot of vandalisation, he also noted that there are modern ways of monitoring which is scientific and effective. He explained that after instillation of the equipment, any act of digging close to a pipeline triggers an alarm, adding that quick response can help to eliminate completely any form of vandalisation.
Oyewole said that “those tank farms must leave” because of the danger pose by their operation on Apapa and its environs. He explained that the country was lucky a few weeks when a barge dumping petroleum products in one of the tank farms exploded.
The Senior Special Adviser noted that had the explosion affected any of the other tank farms, the whole of Apapa and may be even part of Lagos Island would have been on fire and that the rest of the world would have been watching Nigeria on television.
He noted that there is no doubt that the owners of the tank farms had invested huge sums of funds in the tank farms in the area but advised that they must begin to think of divesting from the area.
As for the long solution, the Senior Special Adviser said that the operators must begin to think of moving their investment from the congested Lagos area to Olokola between Ogun and Ondo states.
He said when the port which is expected to have deeper shores when completed, will see bigger vessels calling there. This will also help in eliminating the problem of shipping products from mother vessels mid-stream by smaller ones to the tank farms as is obtainable presently in Apapa.